Saturday, November 26, 2016

Killebrew and Tel Akko

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Penn State archaeologists use IT to help uncover the past (Katie Bohn, Penn State News).
During his tenure as an archaeologist, Indiana Jones wasn’t much concerned about preserving historical sites and landmarks. He pilfered precious artifacts, set off booby traps willy nilly and damaged valuable potential research sites in all his movies.

In reality, archaeologists are much more careful. Keeping meticulous records of what a site looks like before and after a dig — as well as carefully indexing and caring for artifacts — is something all archaeologists keep in mind while in the field.

To help them preserve and keep record of historical sites and objects, Penn State archaeologists are using several information technologies while on location.

“We're constantly pushing the boundaries of how new technologies can help us in our research,” said Ann Killebrew, associate professor of classics and ancient Mediterranean studies, Jewish studies and anthropology. “We use photogrammetry to create 3-D models of the excavation, artifacts, and landscapes, and GIS to visualize the multi-layered stratigraphy of Tel Akko and spatially analyze our data.”

Preserving the past with IT

Killebrew spearheads the Total Archaeology at Tel Akko Project, which takes a group of students, faculty and staff from Penn State and other institutions across the globe each summer to study the ancient Canaanite and Phoenician site in northern Israel.

For more on Professor Killebrew's work, see here and here. Indiana Jones is invoked again.